Atheism vs. Christian revival and Christian apologetics

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Atheism is in decline worldwide, with the number of atheists falling from 4.5% of the world’s population in 1970 to 2.0% in 2010 and projected to drop to 1.8% by 2020.[1]

Christian revivals, Christian apologetics and creationism have had a significant effect on the Western World and the world at large.[2] Global Christianity is presently seeing significant growth as is religion as a whole (see: Desecularization).

In recent years, the secular left has been losing power in Europe (see: Decline of the secular left). In September of 2018, Pew Research indicated: "Due to the decline of the center-left across much of Western Europe and the comparative steadiness of the center-right, most Western European countries are led by center-right parties, as measured by the party of the prime minister or other head of government."[3] In addition, Donald Trump's presidential victory in 2016 was a significant defeat for the secular left (see: Donald Trump and American atheists).

Christian revivals/awakenings

See also: Atheism and its retention rate in individuals

Reverend Dwight Longenecker wrote: "In the late eighteenth century atheism, rationalism and Freemasonry seemed to have taken over Europe. By the mid to late nineteenth century religious revival had swept through Europe and Christianity was surging forward."[4]

In the United States, there were a series of Christian revivals/awakenings between 1730 and the 1970s (see: First Great Awakening and Second Great Awakening and Third Great Awakening and Fourth Great Awakening and Jesus Movement).


Members of the Pentecostal Church of God in Lejunior, Kentucky praying for a girl in 1946.

Pentecostalism is a spiritual Christian revivalist movement that began within revivalistic Protestantism, especially in the United States in the 19th century. In 2011, a Pew Forum study of worldwide Christianity found that there were about 279 million classical Pentecostals, making 4 percent of the total world population and 12.8 percent of global Christendom Pentecostal.[5]

Pentecostalism has experienced explosive growth for the past half-century. The membership is young and fast-growing. Combined, the Pentecostals (in separate denominations) and charismatics (inside other denominations) add up to very large numbers. The statistics are highly inexact but the combined total is perhaps one Christian in ten, worldwide.

The American sociologist and author Peter L. Berger introduced the concept of desecularization in 1999.[6][7] In contrast to many other forms of Christianity, charismatic/Pentecostal Christianity is very evangelical. According to Berger, "One can say with some confidence that modern Pentecostalism must be the fastest growing religion in human history."[8]

Berger recently said that he previously thought that Pentecostalism did not have a significant future in Europe, but he recently saw signs that it could see significant growth in Europe.[9] In addition, Pentecostalism often grows fast in areas undergoing economic distress.[10][11] Post 2007 there are concerns that Western economies which have high sovereign debt loads could see some significant economic turmoil in coming years - especially the European countries with aging populations that have been struggling in terms of economic growth.[12][13]

Effect of the secular ideologies of evolutionism and communism

See also: Decline of the secular left

evolution darwin theory
Late in Charles Darwin's life, Darwin told the Duke of Argyll that he frequently had overwhelming thoughts that the natural world was the result of design.[14] See also: 15 questions for evolutionists and Causes of evolutionary belief

In the latter part of the 1800s naturalism by way of Darwnism/evolutionism grew. In addition, atheism and evolutionary thought were foundational concepts within communist ideology (see also: Atheism and communism).[15]

The atheist Karl Marx wrote, "Darwin's book is very important and serves me as a basis in natural science for the class struggle in history." Marx offered to dedicate the second German edition of his polemic "Das Kapital" to Charles Darwin, but Darwin declined the "honour." [16][17] Marx also called religion the opiate of the masses.[18] Vladimir Lenin similarly wrote: "A Marxist must be a materialist, i. e., an enemy of religion, but a dialectical materialist, i. e., one who treats the struggle against religion not in an abstract way, not on the basis of remote, purely theoretical, never varying preaching, but in a concrete way, on the basis of the class struggle which is going on in practice and is educating the masses more and better than anything else could."[19] In 1955, Chinese communist leader Chou En-lai declared, "We Communists are atheists".[20]

According to the University of Cambridge, historically, the "most notable spread of atheism was achieved through the success of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which brought the Marxist-Leninists to power."[21] Vitalij Lazarʹevič Ginzburg, a Soviet physicist, wrote that the "Bolshevik communists were not merely atheists but, according to Lenin's terminology, militant atheists."[22] However, prior to this, the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution established an atheist state, with the official ideology being the Cult of Reason; during this time thousands of believers were suppressed and executed by the guillotine.[23]

The largest advances of the secular left has been through utilizing the power of the state (see: State atheism and Atheism and communism). For example, secular leftists use the power of the state to promote evolutionary ideology and to censor creationist/intelligent design models of origins (See: Suppression of alternatives to evolution and Atheist indoctrination).

The historian Martin Van Crevel points out that sovereign states are losing power/influence due to technology democratizing access to information, welfare states increasingly failing, fourth-generation warfare being waged against countries and sovereign states increasingly losing their ability to maintain internal order.[24][25] See also: Decline of the secular left

Effect of the growth of creationism and Christian apologetics

Dr. Carl Wieland was a founder of Creation Ministries International, a Christian ministry which is in four continents.

See also: Atheism and its retention rate in individuals

The effect of evolutionism on the Western World and the world at large was mitigated by the growth of modern creationism and Christian apologetics in the latter half of the 20th century and today global creationism, Christian apologetics and as noted earlier global Christianity is seeing rapid growth.[26][27][28] See also: Christian apologetics and education

In addition, global atheism is shrinking and this is a long term trend that started in the 1970s and is expected to continue and significantly effect the Western World in the 21st century.[29][30] The British scholar Eric Kaufmann, who specializes in demography/immigration and its effect the religious/political landscape, told a secular audience in Australia: "The trends that are happening worldwide inevitably in an age of globalization are going to affect us."[31]

On October 4, 2014, the Vancouver Sun reported that evolutionism is rejected by hundreds of millions of evangelical Christians and Muslims around the world and that global creationism is growing.[32]

Specifically, the Vancouver Sun declared:

Creationism, a religious world view that adamantly rejects Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, is on the rise among evangelical Protestants and most of the world’s Muslims.

It is not only the majority of residents in Muslim countries such as Pakistan, Indonesia and Turkey who strongly reject the teaching that humans and other species evolved over millions of years from less complex creatures. So do tens of millions of evangelical Christians in North America (as well as South America and Africa).

Overall, [Nidhal Guessoum, a Middle Eastern physics and astronomy professor] who teaches at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, estimates roughly 60 per cent of the world’s Muslims are creationists, including many living in the U.S. and Canada.

Even though poll results about evolution vary based on the questions asked, Salman Hameed reported in the journal Science that strong anti-evolution majorities exist in Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia, Egypt and Pakistan. The latter is among Canada’s top six source countries for immigrants...

An Angus-Reid survey found 43 per cent of Americans accept the creationist teaching that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old, which means they reject the...view the universe began roughly 13 billion years ago.[33]

Evangelical Christianity is growing in secular Europe and atheistic China

In the Europe of tomorrow, immigration and religious fertility will increase the proportion of committed Christians in Europe, many from the developing world.[34] See: Desecularization of Europe

The current atheist population mostly resides in East Asia (particularly China) and in secular Europe/Australia among whites.[35] See: Western atheism and race

Evangelical Christianity is growing in secular Europe

At the present time, evangelical Christianity is growing in secular Europe (see: Evangelical Christianity is growing in secular Europe) and Europe is expected to see desecularization in the 21st century sometime before 2050 and this trend is expected to continue.[36]

Evangelical Christianity is seeing rapid growth in China

At the present time, Christianity is experiencing explosive growth in China (See: Growth of Christianity in China).

On November 1, 2014, an article in The Economist entitled Cracks in the atheist edifice declared:

Officials are untroubled by the clash between the city’s famously freewheeling capitalism and the Communist Party’s ideology, yet still see religion and its symbols as affronts to the party’s atheism...

Yang Fenggang of Purdue University, in Indiana, says the Christian church in China has grown by an average of 10% a year since 1980. He reckons that on current trends there will be 250m Christians by around 2030, making China’s Christian population the largest in the world. Mr. Yang says this speed of growth is similar to that seen in fourth-century Rome just before the conversion of Constantine, which paved the way for Christianity to become the religion of his empire.[37]

See also

External links


  1. Global Study: Atheists in Decline, Only 1.8% of World Population by 2020
  2. Swedish election highlights decline of center-left parties across Western Europe by Kyle Taylor
  3. The Facts: Atheism is Dying Out, by Rev. Dwight Longenecker, April 8, 2015
  4. Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (December 19, 2011,), Global Christianity: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Christian Population, p. 67.
  5. Journal of Church and State, Desecularization: A Conceptual Framework by Vyacheslav Karpov, 2010
  6. Peter L. Berger, “The Desecularization of the World: A Global Overview,” in The Desecularization of the World: Resurgent Religion and World Politics, ed. Peter L. Berger (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1999)
  7. Pentecostalism – Protestant Ethic or Cargo Cult?, Peter Berger, July 29, 2010
  8. Pentecostalism Invades Lambeth Palace by Peter Berger, December 18, 2013
  9. The rise of biblical creationism in Mexico and its effect on American creationism
  10. Economics and Darwinism/atheism
  11. Social unrest in Europe and an altering of its religious landscape
  12. Economics and Darwinism/atheism
  14. Darwinian foundation of communism
  16. Karl Marx's Social and Political Thought, Bob Jessop, ISBN 0415193265 (pg 476)
  17. Marx, K. Introduction to A Contribution to the Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right (Classic Quotations) (Standard translation from the original German).
  18. Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich, Proletary, No. 45, May 13 (26), 1909, translated by Andrew Rothstein and Bernard Issacs, quote from [1].
  19. Noebel, David, The Battle for Truth, Harvest House, 2001.
  20. Investigating atheism: Marxism. University of Cambridge (2008). Retrieved on July 17, 2014. “The most notable spread of atheism was achieved through the success of the 1917 Russian Revolution, which brought the Marxist-Leninists to power. For the first time in history, atheism thus became the official ideology of a state.”
  21. Vitalij Lazarʹevič Ginzburg (2009). On Superconductivity and Superfluidity: A Scientific Autobiography. Springer Science+Business Media, 161. Retrieved on July 17, 2014. “The Bolshevik communists were not merely atheists but, according to Lenin's terminology, militant atheists.” 
  22. Multiple references:
    James Adair (2007). Christianity: The eBook. JBE Online Books, 461. Retrieved on July 18, 2014. “Although the Civil Constitution called for religious liberty, which was extended to Jews as well as Christians, many revolutionaries pushed for the establishment of a new state religion, either the Cult of Reason (atheists) or the Cult of the Supreme Being (Deists). Changes to the calendar eliminated references to Christian holidays, and even the ancient seven-day week, and a list of officially recognized saints included such famous thinkers such as Socrates, Jesus, Marcus Aurelius, and Jean-Jacques Rousseau. A period of political persecution, often with religious overtones, broke out, known as the Reign of Terror. Thousands of people were executed by the guillotine, including many of the original leaders of the French Revolution.” 
    William Belsham (1801). Memoirs of the Reign of George III. to the Session of Parliament ending A.D. 1793, Volume 5. G.G. & J. Robinson, 105–6. Retrieved on July 18, 2014. “In allusion to the monstrous transactions of this portentous period, it has been eloquently and energetically observed, 'that the reign of atheism in France was avowed the reign of terror. In the full madness of their career, in the highest climax of their horrors, they shut up the temples of God, abolished His worship, and proclaimed death to be an eternal sleep:—in the very centre of Christendom, Revelation underwent a total eclipse, while atheism, performing on a darkened theatre its strange and fearful tragedy, confounded the first elements of society, blended every age, rank, and sex, indiscriminate proscription and massacre, and convulsed all Europe to its centre, that the imperishable memorial of these events might teach the last generations of mankind to consider religion as the pillar of society, the parent of social order, and the safe-guard of nations.'
    "It is wonderful that, amid the horrors of this dismal period, while 'the death dance of democratic revolution' was still in rapid movement, among the tears of affliction, and the cries of despair, 'the masque, the song, the theatric scene, the buffoon laughter, went on as regularly as in the gay hour of festive peace.'”
    William Kilpatrick (2012). Christianity, Islam, and Atheism: The Struggle for the Soul of the West. Ignatius Press, 57. Retrieved on July 18, 2014. “Actually, it's helpful to think in terms of two Enlightenments: the Enlightenment that cut itself off from God. The former led to the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence, the abolition of slavery, and the civil rights movement. The latter led to the French Revolution, the Reign of Terror, the suppression of church by state, and the godless philosophies of Marx and Nietzsche and their offspring—National Socialism and communism. More recently the abandonment of God has led to the regime of cultural relativism that regards rights as arbitrary constructions.
    "It's this second Enlightenment tradition that Cardinal Ratzinger referred to when he wrote, 'The radical detachment of the Enlightenment philosophy from its roots ultimately leads it to dispense with man.' Actually this transition happened not 'ultimately' but almost immediately. The first instance occurred when Enlightenment worship of abstract 'reason' and 'liberty' degenerated quickly into the mass murders committed during the antireligious Reign of Terror in France. 'Liberty, what crimes are committed in your name', said Madam Rolande as she faced the statue of Liberty in the Place de la Revolution movements before her death at the guillotine. She was one of the early victims of a succession of secular systems based on rootless notions of 'liberty', 'equality', and 'reason'.
    "As many historians have pointed out, the atheist regimes of modern times are guilty of far more crimes than any committed in the name of religion. Communist governments alone were guilty of more than one hundred million murders, most of them committed against their own people.”
  23. The Fate of the State by MARTIN VAN CREVELD
  24. Martin van Creveld interview
  25. Thriving Christianity
  26. Introduction To Integrated Christian Apologetics, Dr. Johnson C. Philip & Dr. Saneesh Cherian
  27. Evolution rejected by hundreds of millions of Muslims and evangelicals, Vancouver Sun, October 4, 2014
  28. Global Study: Atheists in Decline, Only 1.8% of World Population by 2020
  29. Eric Kaufmann: Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
  30. Shall the religious inherit the earth - Festival of Dangerous Ideas - Eric Kaufmann
  31. Evolution rejected by hundreds of millions of Muslims and evangelicals, Vancouver Sun, October 4, 2014
  32. Evolution rejected by hundreds of millions of Muslims and evangelicals, Vancouver Sun, October 4, 2014. 9:12 am
  33. Kaufmann, Eric. (2009 or aft.). "Shall the religious inherit the earth?: demography and politics in the twenty-first century". Paper similar to book Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth? Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century. Publ. in unknown publication. ("Most observers accept that the aftermath...") Retrieved July 27, 2014. See Eric Kaufmann.
  34. A surprising map of where the world’s atheists live, By Max Fisher and Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post, May 23, 2013
  35. Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?: Demography and Politics in the Twenty-First Century by Eric Kaufmann
  36. Cracks in the atheist edifice, The Economist, November 1, 2014